UK porn block ‘to be delayed AGAIN’ amid fears Brits’ viewing habits could be tracked in ‘privacy timebomb’

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UK porn block ‘to be delayed AGAIN’ amid fears Brits’ viewing habits could be tracked in ‘privacy timebomb’



THE controversial UK ‘porn block’ is set to be delayed indefinitely after the plans to check users’ ages sparked privacy fears, reports claim.
The scheme, which required all UK adults to prove they are over 18 by providing their ID to porn sites, was set to come into force on 15 July.
2 The controversial UK ‘porn block’ is set to be delayed indefinitelyCredit: Getty – Contributor
But just weeks before the launch, the porn block is set to be delayed for legal reasons, according to Sky News.
The delay comes after experts branded the ID checks a “privacy timebomb” for 20 million Brits.
Sky News reported that the issue with the policy was bureaucratic, rather than technical.
Officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reportedly failed to notify the European commission about key details of the scheme.
Culture secretary Jeremy Wright is expected to announce the climbdown in Parliament today.
WORLD FIRST
The age block would be the first of its kind anywhere in the democratic world.
It would restrict access to adult websites, including free porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn – which attract nearly two billion visits a month between them worldwide.
Websites that refuse to implement the checks face being blocked by UK internet service providers or having their access to payment services withdrawn.
The Sun understands that adult websites are set to be given a grace period of three months to begin enforcing the new rules.
The scheme forms part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, and is aimed at preventing children from accidentally finding extreme porn online.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
The block was originally expected to come into force back in April 2018, but was pushed back to December that same year.
The Government then pushed the launch back again, with the expectation that it would come into force in early April – before Easter.
In 2018, Margot James, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said that “we can expect it to be in force by Easter of next year”.
“It has taken longer than I would have liked, but I’d balance that with a confidence that we’ve got it right.”
Campaigners have voiced concerns that the age verification restrictions could become a data protection nightmare.
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The Open Rights Group, a company working to preserve digital rights and freedoms, called the ID checks a “privacy timebomb”.
Director Jim Killock told the Independent: “Due to the sensitive nature of age verification data, there needs to be a higher standard of protection than the baseline which is offered by data protection legislation.”
He added: “The BBFC’s standard is supposed to deliver this. However, it is a voluntary standard, which offers little information about the level of data protection being offered and provides no means of redress if companies fail to live up to it.”
2 Just weeks before the launch, the porn block is set to be delayed for legal reasonsCredit: Getty – Contributor

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